Patrick Kane took a big hit to the head in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. The hit from Wild defenseman Mathew Dumba briefly took Kane out of the game.
Dumba caught Kane trying to cut across the center of the ice in the neutral zone with his head down. While it doesn’t appear particularly predatory, the Kane’s head is the primary point of contact.
Kane stayed down on a knee after the hit as Artemi Panarin came in and went after Dumba. Panarin took a penalty on the play and gave the Wild a power play that they didn’t convert on.
Take a look at the hit below.
Several looks at the Matt Dumba hit on Patrick Kane pic.twitter.com/4bxAYAz02N
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 21, 2016
The hit will certainly get reviewed by the NHL Department of Player Safety, as all borderline hits are. However, with Kane’s head position, it appears to fall under Section 6 of Rule 48, regarding unavoidable contact on a full body check. It seems unlikely that there will be supplementary discipline on this one.
Adding to that reading is that Damian Echevarrieta, vice president of the NHL Department of Player Safety, tweeted out a screengrab of Section 6 not too long after the hit.
FYI – Unavoidable head contact as specified in rule 48. pic.twitter.com/1IElMZfr9n
— Damian Echevarrieta (@Ech28) March 21, 2016
Kane only missed a couple of shifts and returned to the ice around the midpoint of the third period. If there’s a hearing for Dumba, Kane’s return will help him keep any potential suspension to a minimum, as will a clean record.
Patrick Kane is back on the ice. #CHIvsMIN
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 21, 2016
The NBC broadcast announced that they have confirmation from the Department of Player Safety that this is considered unavoidable contact. There will be no supplementary discipline from the league for Dumba.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.